Staring into this small mirror, fixated on the strand of hair, I meticulously pluck out the short silver strand, not out of malice or disdain, if anything, in resignation. As much as I like popping pimples, I have always liked plucking gray hairs. I would do it for my mom when she was younger. It always felt like a special game I alone knew how to enjoy, foraging through, getting a firm grip, skillfully separating the offending white strand and then swiftly plucking it out. I would lay them out proudly in her waiting palm and she would inspect them.
It has been at least two decades; my mom is here, but any attempt at my little game now would leave her bald as an egg. Now I am staring hard at this short strand of grey hair stuck on my dusty mirror and wondering if I should frame this somehow. It is not the first strand I have ever plucked but this one is unusually bright, catching the sunlight and glinting in the mirror.
I should be hurrying to work since I am with the office key, but I am distracted by this beautiful thing and its meaning. Then my phone vibrates. It’s a notification from My Calendar informing me that my fertility window is open. I have to smile. If more dazzling strands of gray hair keep popping up, I will be out of eggs soon enough and will very well need to uninstall this doting app.
I do not know if I will ever have children and it does not bother me much, save for my mother’s aspirations. I try not to concern myself with things I cannot fix. But a few nights ago my mom told me of someone who told her to “face the problem in her house”.
You see, I don’t fight or steal. I have never failed in school, been arraigned for criminal activity, leaked a sex tape online or gotten pregnant out of wedlock…yet. I have always tried to be upright, so I am here really struggling to find all the ways I might have earned this level of disapproval to the point of being referred to as “a problem”; a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome. Yes, I really did check the meaning in a dictionary. I am hoping that you can understand my confusion as to how my personal life or the lack there of is now a source of embarrassment to my parents, because I didn’t see that coming. Then again, I don’t seem to see or understand a lot these days.
So today, for no real fault of mine, and not for lack of trying, I am “the problem” in my parent’s house, because at 31, I’m not married. In the past year since I have been home, I have grown a thick skin and a quick tongue for the imprudent talk some relatives bring. But I still bridle my tongue so I don’t upset my parents.
In earnest, I am not angry or hurt by this unwarranted opinion of me by people with their equally mediocre lives. I am indifferent, no, mildly bewildered and really craving a glazed doughnut.
My phone is vibrating again. It must be my colleagues. I should go.
Photo credit: youbeauty.com
2 Comments Add yours
With each sentence I read I get riled up. This brought back memories, why parents do this I have no idea! Our culture promotes this, giving unsolicited advice. The funny thing is it never ends .. now you are married when are you giving us a boy…oh just one we need another. Live your life according to how you want it let no one use their negative aura to dampen your happiness.
Thank you so much. It’s hard but I’ll do my best